Coffee & Tea I drink a lot of drinks. Not alcoholic ones–the occasional cocktail or glass of wine doesn’t hurt–but caffeinated ones. I picked up the tea habit in NYC pulling long days and even longer nights. I started drinking everything UN-sweetened, which was unheard of for me in college. I also learned  “getting coffee” or “meeting up in the afternoon” with clients or friends usually meant it was happening over a beverage and a cute overpriced croissant or baked good. Well duh, you don’t plan to “get coffee” with someone and get something to drink. So drinking drinks also became a social thing. I would once complain about it being SO overpriced and overrated and something I could make at home, but here I am today, enjoying non-alcoholic drinks with friends just because. 

On a recent friend meet-up in North Park, we did just that. Meeting up for coffee, just because. Except coffee is still not an option for me (never will be) and I’m all about iced tea or chai tea lattes. We got these tall and short drinks at Coffee & Tea Collective, a place that is nothing short of “hip.” From the white painted brick wall, wood counter tops, stools, rebar and Edison bulbs, it’s hip on point. Seen a lot of these from New York to North Park and I think they are here to stay, for a while. Get familiar.

Greetings From San DiegoAs all tourist would (even though we’re not), we sought out the picture perfect postcard down the street. This photo of me looks pretty ridiculous (I have a number of friend who would agree), but hey, it’s very fitting for this time in my life. I’m back to a place where I lived the first time I left home. While I take a lot of pictures, there are some times I wish I got a picture of me at certain place. After all, “pic or it didn’t happen.”

img_0424Before my day was over, I had two more drinks. I forgot to take a picture of one, but this tea from Lofty Coffee was delish. That’s right, if you clicked the link you know Lofty is in Solana Beach, so I traveled far for this one. With a new sidekick, this lavender infused black tea really hit the spot. It’s supposed to be fall but SoCal doesn’t quite do it like the east coast does and it was pretty warm.

My last tea of the day, Thai Tea, was paired with pad see ew, from Bahn Thai in University Heights. I don’t really know how I ended up there with yet another friend, but we did. Friends and food go hand-in-and and this particular day was full of chatting, eating and drinking–tea. Sometimes it’s not about how good the coffee/tea/food is (although that’s the goal), but it’s about the company and throughout this day I totally scored.


Category : 2 0 1 6, Eats, On Maui
Date : June 29, 2016

IMG_8521IMG_8522Do you ever go to Sam Sato’s and order a papaya and teri stix? Yeah no, I never did either until the other day. No regrets.


Category : 2 0 1 6, Eats, On Maui
Date : April 16, 2016

IMG_5173 2

When I was little my Grandma and Grandpa would drive me A L L around Maui. We used to live upcountry until I was about three, so going the 30 minutes “downtown” was a far drive. My babysitters would take me even farther to the hotels and resorts in Wailea just to people watch. I guess gas was cheap back then and I was easily amused. They would also go the opposite direction, higher up the mountain to Kula and even as far as Keokea.  There we would stop at Grandma’s Coffee House. Grandma’s, Fong Store and Ching’s Gas are still there, all in a row as they always have been.

On our way back from Hana last weekend, we stopped there too. The menu has changed since I was a regular but the charm remains the same. Now that I’m a regular back on Maui, we’ll have to make an effort to come up here. I would like to see places like this stay because it really is what makes Maui, Maui. (And the food is pretty good too!)

How sweet it is.

Date : February 19, 2016

IMG_2457Actually, not that sweet, at first. Just like going to Grandma’s, going to Uncle’s you never leave empty handed. “Go make lemonade,” he said, washing bunches of lemon and putting them in a plastic bag for us to take home. So I did.  Matsumoto_lemons1Under the direction of my oldest boss, G-Flo, I made lemonade. Five lemons later, I had more than enough juice for a pitcher of lemonade. G-Flo commented, “I think that’s a lot of juice for that small pitcher. Needs plenty water you know.” Eye roll. She’s the boss for a reason and always thinks her way is the right way. The first taste was sour, like really sour. A spoonful of sugar later it was still sour. Another spoonful didn’t make much of a difference. “How does it taste? Still sour yeah?” She asked, and I lied. “It’s perfect!” The truth was, it probably needed more water but no way was I going to admit that to G-Flo. I just poured myself a glass, drinking my sour juice which was perfect for my slightly sour attitude.

Bringing home these lemons from Uncle’s house was a treat and making lemonade with G-Flo–priceless. My new location comes with a lot of commentary and critique but I can’t complain. I came home for this and even after days of sour lemonade, it’s always pretty sweet.


Category : 2 0 1 6, Eats, On Maui
Date : February 12, 2016


When the vog got you down, nothing like a colorful drink to reverse that frown.


Date : January 26, 2016

#blizzard2016 I feel for all of you in 30″+ of melting snow and I got as close as I could to a “snow day” in Hawaii. The east coast got showered with record number snow this weekend and all I could think about was “LET’S EAT SHAVE ICE TO CELEBRATE!” (Ululani’s, of course). This is my first winter in four years that doesn’t involve slushing around melting snow, dodging ice patches on the sidewalk, wearing a sleeping bag for a jacket, and dreaming about what it felt like to be warm. I enjoyed cold winter walks and the newness fresh snow brought to the busy city. I’ll miss dressing up to be warm, but let’s be real, this view isn’t too bad either.

Getting the most out of a little.

Date : October 10, 2015

IMG_7474As I look at my planner (yes, one with pages and blocks for every day of the year), and flip to next week, there is a big B coming up. Birthday. Another year of celebrating life and a milestone to really mark the end of a year and start of another. (Picture from the start of this past year when I blew out a handmade candle from an apple cider vinegar bottle after being serenaded by an 8 year-old and ate a toppled cake from Dominique Ansel)

I am changing. While birthdays of my younger years were filled with dreams of what types of gifts I wished to receive (and $$$), they are different now. People ask me what I want and my answer is nothing. Everything I need right now, I already have and I really believe it. (more…)


Category : 2 0 1 5, Eats, NYC, Queens, So Fresh
Date : September 29, 2015

FullSizeRender 14

The peppers on the outside are cheaper since they’ve been around longer but can they really tell where it came from? No, but that doesn’t mean you lie. Pono, do what is right!